Saturday, November 24, 2012

Post-Turkey Talk

Whew... it's been a whirlwind kind of week.  I have to admit that I indulged in a a pleasure I've never had.  I've always wanted it but it's been out of reach, and other things have been more important.

This year, my tree was up by the end of the day after Thanksgiving.

Before you get too congratulatory, the boxes are still out and the tree in the front room is just up, not decorated.  The two-foot tree in the dining room is in the same state, just because it comes out of the box that way.  And the greatness of my living room tree is due in part to my mother helping.  I'm convinced that things like ornament spacing come with age, seeing as I'm in awe of my dear mother-in-law's abilities in this vein as well.

Thanksgiving was a blast as well.  Okay, so it was a blast for the neurotypical of the bunch.  We had everything Nanny used to make save the five jello "salads" and about four pies.  She usually made between seven and ten.  I made four, spread between last Saturday's coconut cream for my sister, who was here briefly to help mom move her RV, to the three I made for Thanksgiving itself.  And the turkey was not bad for only my second turkey to roast in my lifetime.

But we had our moments.

As the flurry of last-minute prep settled, we called the kids to the table.  Richie and Maelynn came right in, reading the social cue that the table was set in the dining room, I'd cooked for nearly two solid days to get this together, and well, it was Thanksgiving.  On one of my many trips back to the kitchen, there he sat.

Ryan obeyed; he came to the table.  But he sat in his regular seat at the kitchen table.  The trip to the seat in the dining room was a meltdown.  Then it continued because I didn't have his pizza ready quite yet.

It's at this point that I just wanted to cry.  What do you do?  To which end do you err?  There seems to be no true answer.  No win for us or Ryan.  He did calm and eat his pizza.  His brother and sister were still questioning his getting pizza, but only half-heartedly.  On some level, they know that there's a reason, so they don't argue.  They just ask.

It wasn't a disaster, but that's mostly because we were at home.  We're usually not home for these holidays, as I mentioned before.  So at least if the wheels had to fly off for a bit, we were home.

But I know some of you were not home.  And the wheels flew off.  And you're thinking that maybe it was a mistake.  And maybe you're wondering if you should try it again for the next holiday.  Or ever.

I feel a similar pain.  If you can, reach out to this person and see what can be done to make the visit easier next time.  A cooling off place? A device you can bring to help him find his happy place?  Or maybe even a touch of education?

But either way, you're not alone.

Maybe you hosted a child similar to Ryan and you're feeling badly because he or she was so upset the whole time.  If you want to have them over again, ask the parents if there's anything you can do for the next visit.  Reach out and try again.  It's more than worth it.  And it's possible.

Let's just promise each other we won't give up.

Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Thanks be to God for courage.  

1 comment:

  1. Good advice! The holidays can be so tough for ASD families. Thanks for continuing to encourage and raise awareness for those who want to help.


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